Your first impression is how concentrated in blackcurrant and cassis fruit this wine is. It’s immense as well in flashy new oak. Then there are the tannins. Gentle and sweet, yet complex as a tapestry, they offer structure to the decadent flavors. This is a real achievement, and as soft as it is, the wine seems…— S.H.
This continues to be one of the preeminent California Chenin Blancs and it represents a great value as well as an alternative to more conventional white wines. Mostly from old Chenin vines, it is oak aged and classy, not unlike good Chardonnay. Yet it’s floral, slightly sweet and a touch grassy, as good Chenin can…— M.S.
Big and rich in the mouth, with gorgeous, velvety tannins. Offers a juicy plum and cassis core, with oak, tobacco and earth accents, and a char and cocoa notes on the back end. As compelling as the flavors are, it’ll be the mouthfeel that wins you over (this is one of those Cabs that could taste like eggs Benedict…— W.E.
A young, tight, closed mountain Cabernet that should follow a graceful aging curve. Pours inky dark, giving off muted aromas of oak, forest floor and wild blackberries. Dense and tannic now, with rich fruit just waiting to emerge. This classically proportioned wine should begin to be drinkable after 2010.— S.H.
A winning wine that displays a vibrantly fragrant tangerine, citrus and herb-butter bouquet. It opens to a full, dense tropical-fruit palate and shows an almost seamless texture. Tangy oak plays off the lingering fruit nuances on this bottling’s lengthy, luxurious finish.— W.E.
. Initially the ripe pineapple aromas seem a bit muted, but on the palate the pineapple comes through strong and shaded with dried apricots. A long, moderately acidic finish caps off a very enjoyable dessert wine.— J.C.
Lots of sweet oak in the nose, with raspberry and cherry fruit. Jammy and inviting, with great depth of flavor. Rich and spicy, and fairly complex. A light-bodied wine that defines the soft, beguiling style of Sangiovese in California.— S.H.
With apple and pear flavors and some oak, this is a clean Chard with mineral overtones. Nothing really stands out or clobbers you sidewise. It’s just a well put-together wine, tasteful and understated.— S.H.